According to a new study, if your internal body clock is regularly disrupted, it can seriously mess with your mood.
We often hear the term “body clock” but what does it really mean? Moreover, is there a relationship between a person’s internal clock and their emotional health?
Here’s a quick answer to both questions.
Your body clock, also known as circadian rhythm, is what controls the physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that that go on within your system throughout the day.
Think of it like a routine.
If you normally go to bed at 10 pm and wakeup at 6 am, your body clock will begin to adapt to that schedule. It’s why you might start getting sleepy around 9 pm and why you may wake up naturally just before dawn.
According to a new study appearing in The Lancet Psychiatry, disrupting the regular cycle of your body clock may be bad for your mood.
The research, which had over 91,000 participants, concludes that interruptions to circadian rhythm can lead to a person being more vulnerable to severe depression and bipolar disorder.
In a press release, lead author Dr. Laura Lyall from the University of Glasgow in the UK shared the following:
“Our findings indicate an association between altered daily circadian rhythms and mood disorders and wellbeing.”
Your body clock governs basic physiological and behavioral functions that range from body temperature to eating habits. It is your brain’s internal time-keeping system and it anticipates environmental changes as adjustments are needed throughout the day.
For example – if you have a bowel movement around the same time each morning, your body clock is probably the reason why. The same holds true if you work out and notice your energy levels are higher in the late afternoon.
So, is there anything that can be extrapolated from this study? While the research doesn’t come right out and say it, the results seem to suggest that humans need to have a daily routine to aid in homeostasis.
Disrupting that routine, such as not getting enough sleep and not keeping to a schedule, is terrible for your emotional health.